All is right with the world as the New York Mets are back playing baseball games, and while the scores may be meaningless, there is plenty at stake for multiple players who are currently in camp with the ballclub. One of those players, in particular, is Darin Ruf who is looking to rebound after a bad first impression over the final two months of the 2022 season.
Ruf is currently vying for a role on the 26-man roster as a platoon player out of the designated hitter position due to his historic success against left-handed pitching throughout his career. Unfortunately, Ruf has missed time due to a wrist injury which has allowed other players such as Mark Vientos, Brett Baty, Tim Locastro, and DJ Stewart, among others to take advantage of their opportunities through the first week of Spring Training.
The Mets have many players off to great starts early in spring which could put Darin Ruf's roster spot in jeopardy
With Ruf's porous play during his stint with the Mets last season there may not be another player on this roster who needs to make more of an impression than him at this point. When Ruf does return from his wrist injury, he will have to outplay many of the aforementioned players who are currently ahead of him in terms of production this spring.
The Mets have plenty of options in camp who could replace Ruf as a bench option this season, and I would not be surprised to see Mark Vientos potentially get the nod if his solid spring continues. It's also important to note that Vientos has primarily been playing defensively at first base through the first week of games.
Darin Ruf is going to have to justify to both the front office and fans alike that he deserves a seat on the bus heading down I-95 for Opening Day in Miami. While I would love to see him turn it around due to his ability to feast off of southpaws, he hasn't to this point been able to establish himself to this point since coming over from the San Francisco Giants.